You reach a certain point in marriage where words aren’t needed to express to your spouse how you are feeling or what you are thinking about. All that is required is a simple look. This trick comes in handy, especially in social settings, with many couples using this non-verbal awareness to their advantage.
Take for instance when one gets caught in a dull conversation with a close talker that has no clue they are about as engaging as watching paint dry. A quick glance over to their significant other and they can be assured that relief is on the way. As soon as their eyes lock, their spouse knows instantly that the time has come to switch into superhero mode by rescuing them with the classic “the babysitter just called” line. Or take that same party where a wife suddenly gets a whiff of a not so pleasant smell. The smirk and wink coming from her husband lets the wife know that in this case the one who smelt it did not actually dealt it.
Women, much more then men, have learn to harness the glance to its’ fullest potential. With a single ‘look’ your wife can deliver a message loud and clear that not only sends chills down your spine, but also makes you ponder what important event occurred on this date, what chore you forgot to do or whether you put the toilet seat down in the middle of the night.
Then you experience moments where with a simple glance you are capable of looking into each other’s soul. Today was one of those days. There was no need to explain the tension we were both feeling. I could see the worry in Jenn’s eyes. We were taking our daughter Madison to meet with specialists at Duke Medical Center in hopes of finding answers to issues that have plagued her for far too long.
It’s a weird dynamic you are working through as a parent when your child is in pain and no doctor can seem to explain why. You certainly don’t want anything serious to be wrong with your child, yet the hope for a diagnosis, any diagnosis, means you finally know what you are up against and can start battling it. Hope for some clarity finds itself mixed with worry over what the doctors might say.
The CR-V was all gassed up. Strawberry Shortcake was queued on the DVD player. Baby Emma and silk blankie occupied their normal spot next to the car seat, snacks were stocked in the cooler and the coloring books and crayons where ready to go. All that was left was tying up a few loose ends at the office.
In the midst of my mental haze of obsessing over all the possible outcomes, I failed to notice another dark haze that suddenly appeared in the sky. I paid no attention to the raindrops that began appearing on my windshield. A loud rumble of thunder that made me clench the wheel in fear finally interrupted my thoughts. A storm was not brewing. It was already percolating. Dodging traffic I raced home in hopes the girls would be ready to go and we would stay ahead of the storm.
Silly me, I should of known better by now. My glance was directed upwards, but not to see the path of the storm. While staring at the clouds, I shook my head and let out a frustrated chuckle: “Are you kidding me, Lord? Seriously? Of course this is going to happen…” We could be heading to my parent’s house in Maryland, picking someone up at the airport or going on vacation. The destination was irrelevant.
All that mattered was when the wheels of our vehicle touched the interstate marking the beginning of an important trip. At that very moment is when God’s sense of humor kicks in and he sends a storm of epic proportions our way. As you can tell, I don’t find the Creator of the Universe all that funny.
These storms are not of the annoying rain cloud variety. I’m speaking of a flood where you regret putting money into your 401K and not towards a down payment on an ark. Not only was it raining cats and dogs, but also lions, tigers and bears oh my! Growing up my folks use to tell me that the angels were bowling when you heard thunder. If this is the case, then the angelic bowling league had matches taking place with Gabriel rolling a perfect 300. The only thing that would make me want to reconsider our trip more than listening to the actual thunder roll would be the CD player going haywire and having Garth Brook’s “Thunder Rolls” playing on repeat for the entire 3 hours we are in the car. You get the picture. It wasn’t a pretty sight on the open road. If it were, I wouldn’t of known anyway because I couldn’t see two feet in front of me.
Understanding the fear and apprehension their girls were experiencing, the average husband would be calm, cool and collective by not allowing their frustration to show. Unfortunately, if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I am far from average. The anger I wrestled with internally over the storm manifested itself outwardly in frantic worry when I entered the house. Everything that didn’t go according to plan put me on edge with the storm to end all storms currently occupying the number one spot on the list. In my mind, these storms always had a way of setting a bad tone for the trip. However, the glare I received from Jenn while in the kitchen made me realize that was not the case. My demeanor sets the tone, not only for the trip, but my home as well. Message received loud and clear or should I say silent and glaring.